Gamal Abdel Nasser (1918-1970)

Gamal Abdel Nasser

1918 On January 15th, Alexandria, Egypt, Gamal Abdel Nasser was born. He was the son of a postman and was born in a house made of adobe. He grew up in Cairo and Alexandria. He exceeded his humble origins and became the first president of Egypt. He nationalized Suez fosse and became a hero of Arab world, but his reputation suffered after he had been defeated by Israel.

1936 After graduating school in Cairo he joined the Military College and graduated two years later and started to work as an officer of Egyptian army. At that time, Egypt was still under British leading, with a puppet king, Faruk, to the throne. Nasser helped the creation of a clandestine nationalist group that had as goal Egypt’s independence – Free officers, El-Dhobatt El-Ahrar.

1938 He became an officer of Egyptian army.

1948 The first Israeli-Arab war happened.

1952 Defeat in war and general dissatisfaction caused by corruption generalization within public administration led to coup that was almost completely without bloodshed. Nasser was the leader of this action, but he continued to remain in the shadow for other two years. Rebellious officers, officially led by general Mohammed Naguib, forced King Faruk to abdicate, so his son, Ahmed Faud was declared king in his place.

1954 British people approved to withdraw but before this, the army had got rebelled twice more; the first time they had removed the young king and proclaimed the republic under General Naguib and second time they had removed Naguib in order to sustain Nasser as a leader.

1956 Nasser officially became president and declared Egypt as a socialist Arab state and the Islam as the official religion. Then Nasser started to show his nationalist side; Egypt unilaterally took Suez Canal, a way of vital navigation that links Mediterranean Sea with Arab seas. Great Britain had the control of this fosse.

Nasser introduced socialist reforms in Egypt, he nationalized estates and banks, but the effects of these measures were just symbolic at that moment, they did not bring any benefit. By these measures, Nasser succeeded to break away from the neo-feudal past of Egypt. He also tried to modernize and industrialize the country, grew the educational standards and significantly increased women’s role. Charming and pleasant as a person, as a politician Nasser led a repressive police state and kept the opposition away by force.

He won unprecedented popularity within Arab world and became one of the founding leaders of the non-aligned movement of states that must have been free from any influence, Eastern or Western even if from a closer analysis anyone could see that it was a close ally of Soviet Union. A declared enemy of Israel, he tried to unite the entire Arab world and established a federation of Egypt and Syria, so he built United Arab Republic led by him.

1961 This union disbanded due to a coup in Syria.

1967 Egypt was defeated by Israel within a six days war.

1970 On September 28th, Gamal Abdel Nasser died, to Cairo, due to a heart attack.

 

 

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